Complaints Swipe at Metropolis’s $100 Vaccine Cost Card Tech Issues – THE CITY

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1000’s of New Yorkers have struggled to redeem their $100 vaccine incentive debit playing cards — some for weeks — as the corporate that administers them says it’s making an attempt to resolve points with sign-ups.
FiCentive, a division of the San Antonio-based monetary know-how agency Usio that provides the debit playing cards, acquired a $50 million no-bid contract first authorised final August by board members of town Financial Improvement Corp., information present.
Former Mayor Invoice de Blasio introduced the incentives final yr, promising the bonus to anybody receiving a vaccine — and, later, a booster-dose — at designated vaccination websites.
The town has processed some 7,000 complaints concerning the Akimbo-brand vaccine incentive playing cards because the initiative launched in July, based on Metropolis Corridor spokesperson Jonah Allon, who added that “greater than 730,000 playing cards have been distributed.”
At taking part vaccine websites providing the $100 perk, New Yorkers have the choice to obtain their reward card by way of postal mail — with wait instances as much as 4 weeks — or they will enroll with Akimbo by way of e-mail to acquire a one-time code so as to unlock the funds on a digital card.
That’s the place some customers have reportedly skilled points — resorting to Twitter threads and Reddit boards to determine easy methods to get their cash.
Williamsburg resident Molly Heintz opted for her 8-year-old son to obtain his $100 bank card by means of the mail after receiving his second dose of the vaccine in November at a Lengthy Island Metropolis website – however was solely capable of unlock the funds this week.
It took Heintz quite a few makes an attempt over the previous two months to log in to Akimbo and eight calls to the corporate’s customer support to redeem the cardboard, she mentioned.
Akimbo, which didn’t reply to a request for remark, has a disclaimer on its web site that reads: “We’re at present experiencing intermittent points with login and account administration. We’re working to resolve these points as rapidly as doable. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”
“It was notably difficult” to get the cash, Heintz mentioned. “I feel perhaps some forecasting on the quantity of quantity of requests, or no matter infrastructural help must be in place. It’s important for one thing like this to work easily.”
The EDC’s government committee initially authorised the FiCentive deal in August, committing to $20.3 million earlier than increasing to $50.9 million the next month. In addition to the pay as you go $100 vaccine incentive playing cards, FiCentive can also be in command of a contest that promised to present away a further $2,500 every to no less than 10 fortunate winners amongst those that obtained the photographs.
A spokesperson for EDC didn’t reply to THE CITY’s request for remark.
Individuals experiencing difficulties signing up for Akimbo ought to name Akimbo at 1-855-449-2273 or the vax hotline at 877-VAX4NYC, Allon mentioned.
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